I never really considered deep-frying as a dessert shortcut until I had some ricotta fritters at a wonderful Italian restaurant in New York City. But when I thought about how quick the batter must be to make, and how cooking only took a few minutes, I had to try them at home. Here I pour a little maple syrup on dessert plates and set the hot fritters on top, although you could simply sweeten them with confectioners’ sugar or dip them in honey instead.
Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Whisk the egg, sugar, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk in the flour and salt.
Carefully drop 6 individual tablespoonfuls of batter into the hot oil (test the oil by dropping a little bit of batter into it; it should bubble up—if it doesn’t, let the oil heat some more). Fry, turning once, until the fritters are golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes total. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fritters to the baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Drizzle 2 Tbs. maple syrup on each of 4 dessert plates. Dust the fritters heavily with confectioners’ sugar, arrange them on top of the maple syrup, and serve immediately.
Photo: Scott Phillips